Travel and transportation is a substantial part of our private and professional climate footprint. It has proven difficult to turn this development around, but the corona crisis has shown that behaviors can change rapidly. But how will travel and transportation patterns really change in the future and how may today’s stakeholders collaborate to offer covid-safe and climate friendly aviation after the pandemic? In other words, how can we get a new story for flying, to really take off?
The global aviation sector has an important role to play in several of the UN Sustainable development goals. It is easy to point out the negative environmental effects, such as emissions of heat, noise, particulates and gases. The global aviation industry produces around 2 % of all human induced carbon dioxide emissions. Worldwide, flights produced 915 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019, carrying 4.5 billion passengers.
But there is another side to the story. The aviation industry connects people, countries and cultures and provides access to global markets. It enables transport of food and medicine, organs for transplantation and emergency aid to exposed areas. 35 000 tonnes of food and commodities were delivered by air in 2019 to relieve victims of floods, conflict and health crises. It allows for tourism, which significantly improves living standards and reduces poverty in many countries. 88 million jobs were supported worldwide in aviation and related tourism before covid-19 hit the industry.
Global travel agent Egencia/Expedia together with airline Air France KLM have joined forces to redefine how we look at travel and aviation in the future. Forest company Södra has joined the teamplay with their ambition to turn forest residues into renewable aviation fuel, thereby offering more sustainable travel options. This, however, will inevitably mean higher costs.
By enhancing the value of flying instead of reducing costs, it is possible to engage pioneering customers to explore a future where we fly less but “better” and still have a viable and sustainable travel industry.
This teamplay is looking for partners that want to pioneer the future of sustainable travel and aviation.
– International companies with substantial travel budgets should join this project by signing up to co2vid safe travel programs, to be able to communicate a brave story to their stakeholders.
– Policy makers who want to use real world examples when they argue for tougher climate policies in the EU should join this project to contribute with their expertise and public reach.